MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Republican Club members elected Former Chatham Township Mayor Tayfun Selen to fill Heather Darling’s seat on the freeholder board. The election was held at County College of Morris.
In the first round, there were four candidates and Selen earned 192 votes. Bruce Meringolo earned 97 votes. Pequannock councilwoman Melissa Florance-Lynch finished in third with 70 votes, and former Morristown Councilwoman Alison Deeb placed last with 25 votes.
Selen was short one vote in the first round. He needed to win by at least 50% plus one vote. Since he was short, a second round of voting was required. This time Selene faced off with Meringolo.
Selen defeated Bruce Meringolo in the runoff, beating the former Long Hill committeeman 198 to 171.
Earlier in the morning, Former Pompton Lakes Councilman Christian Barranco dropped his bid and endorsed Selen before the first round of voting.
Selen said “I’m ready to work hard for you, to win elections and grow this party. I am ready to work hard on outreach. I’m ready to be a unifying force,”
“I’m ready to continue to work hard to help win the election and re-elect our president,” continued Selen.
Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce said “Tayfun is one of the most dependable people I know. He has been a steadfast supporter of our Republican Party, standing behind our candidates in the toughest of elections. He is a man of great character and integrity; a smart businessman who will be able to put his professional skills to work as a Morris County Freeholder. He will be a true asset!”
Parsippany resident Thomas DeLorenzo and Former Madison Councilman Rob Catalanello dropped out of the race early on, as well as Former Freeholder John Cesaro. Cesaro among public officials was charged in major investigation of political corruption. In December five defendants were charged with taking thousands of dollars in bribes from a cooperating witness in the form of campaign contributions. In return, the defendants allegedly promised the cooperating witness, Matthew O’Donnell, who is a tax attorney, that they would vote or use their official authority or influence to hire or continue to hire his law firm for lucrative government legal work.
Selen will replace former Freeholder Heather Darling, who won the seat of Morris County Surrogate in the November General Election. She resigned December 31, 2019 to take the Surrogate seat on January 1, 2020. Selen will be sworn in on Monday, February 10 at 4:00 p.m. at the Morris County Administration Building.